"The film brings you up close inside Cornel West's and Bob Avakian's dialogue: the passion, the audacity, the science, the morality, the revolutionary substance. Two courageous voices modeling a morality that refuses to accept injustice – pouring heart and soul into standing together challenging all of us to fight for a world worthy of humanity."

Andy Zee,
co-director of the film


BA Speaks

No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born. I say no more of that.

BAsics 1:13

What Humanity Needs

At the beginning of 2012, an in-depth interview with Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, was conducted over a period of several days by A. Brooks, a younger generation revolutionary who has been inspired by the leadership and body of work of Bob Avakian and the new synthesis of communism this has brought forward.


Genocidal Realities

Nevada Prison Guards Set Up Gladiator Fights—Then Fire on Prisoners

April 20, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


In speaking to the situation facing Black and Latino people in the U.S.—mass incarceration and the school-to-prison pipeline, the criminalization and demonization of a whole generation of youth, the overt or just-below-the-surface racism prevalent in society, etc.—Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party has said what is taking place is a slow genocide that could easily become a fast genocide. The word “genocide” comes from the ancient root words “genos” (people) and “cide” (killing)—according to the UN, genocide is the deliberate imposition on a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group of “conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” This regular feature highlights aspects of this slow genocide.


November 12, 2014—It started out like any other day in the High Desert State Prison north of Las Vegas. Twenty-eight-year-old Carlos Manuel Perez, Jr.—who had four months to go on an 18-to 48-month sentence for assault, off a beef he got into with someone in a rival set—had showered, then had his hands cuffed behind him before being returned to his cell. Andrew Jay Arevalo, 24, housed in another isolation cell next to Perez on a one- to three-year sentence, had gotten his shower and was also cuffed behind his back, waiting to return to his cell.

Perez and Arevalo had conflicts. According to prison policy, they should have been returned to their cells one at a time to keep them apart. But the guards released both into the hallway at the same time anyway, knowing what would happen. Words were exchanged, and the handcuffed inmates began kicking at each other, while the guards watched and probably laughed.

After a few minutes, a guard trainee fired a warning shot, quickly followed by three shotgun blasts down the hall. Arevalo was hit three times in the face but survived. Perez, however, was hit in the head, neck, chest, and arms—and his death was later ruled a homicide. But the prison covered it up and said nothing about how Perez had died until a coroner’s report was released four months later. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was called to the prison about an “assault with a gun” but has no record of Perez’s death and did not investigate it.

Perez’s family didn’t even know how he had died until they went to claim his body and found it riddled with gunshot holes. “We had to undress him ourselves and take pictures of his wounds,” said his older brother. “Everything was hidden from us.”

Most of the major news media has ignored this story, but an ongoing investigation by the Las Vegas Review-Journal found that guards had fired their weapons at least 215 times at High Desert from 2007 to 2011, 63 percent of all shots fired in the state’s 21 prison facilities. The real-world consequences are horrifying:

  • Guards fired in the cafeteria in January 2012 after two inmates got into a scuffle. Six were wounded by shotgun pellets, none of them involved in the fight.
  • Dario Olivas was blinded in one eye in July 2012 when a guard fired a shotgun to stop two other inmates fighting in another dinner hall incident.
  • Ryan Layman was wounded by guards twice, in August 2012 and April 2014, and prison doctors refused to remove shotgun pellets from his hand and leg. An attorney representing inmates shot by the guards told the press that pellets are left in prisoners’ skin unless they personally dig them out.
  • Tuiofu Sooga was wounded in the liver and heart when a guard fired at him during Thanksgiving dinner in 2013 in the meal hall. When he regained consciousness, guards forced Sooga to walk to the prison infirmary.
  • Steven Delosh was 20-30 yards from another fight between two prisoners when a guard started firing throughout the cafeteria. Delosh was hit several times in the face, head, and back while lying on the ground.
  • The mother of a mentally ill son in the prison says he’s been shot twice by guards and treated with only aspirin and a bandage. Prison officials have since begun charging the family fees for costs associated with the shootings.


This is probably only the tip of the iceberg. Cal Potter, the attorney for the Perez family and others, is considering a class-action lawsuit. “There’s people coming out of the woodwork, talking about their loved ones being shot,” Potter said. “We believe that there’s got to be hundreds of people shot at High Desert.”

The Perez family has filed a lawsuit claiming two guards “created a gladiator-like scenario” when they allowed Perez and Arevalo to fight in the hallway outside their cells before ordering a rookie third guard to shoot them.

The family’s suffering goes on. Four days after they started a GoFundMe online fundraising campaign to raise the $2,000 for a funeral, the site was shut down. “A GoFundMe representative told me the warden called them directly to shut it down,” said Perez’s older brother. “The prison claimed an investigation was ongoing and that donation services for Carlos weren’t allowed.”

Perez’s ashes still sit in his brother’s living room in a cardboard box.



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